We’ve been watching, eating, breathing, singing, dancing, and wearing Frozen like it’s 2013 over here. Margaret’s Frozen obsession started innocently enough when we bought her a stuffed Olaf on our cross-country move last year. We wandered around Wall Drug in South Dakota being hard-core tourists. Margaret was literally a kid in a candy store. I pointed out a small stuffed Olaf. We bought Olaf. She loves Olaf. Then she listened to “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” on YouTube. From there it was a slippery slope…that I buttered…I introduced her to these songs. FINE! I orchestrated Margaret’s Frozen obsession…over the course of a year. What?! I was curious about the allure of this movie and really wanted to see it. I know I could have just put the movie in our Netflix queue, but then there wouldn’t be any anticipation, and you know to get the best result, it’s better to let a 3 year old think she came up with the idea. It’s science…and psychology, and possibly manipulation. Please don’t judge. I only use my Jedi Mom tricks for good.
Anyway, Margaret knows ALL the words to ALL the songs, although there is a lot of mispronunciation that I’m NOT correcting. My favorite is when she sings “Let it Go” while wearing a silky shawl as a cape that I just realized is over 20 years old and was purchased by me at a department store that no longer exits: “…a kingdom of isobration, and it looks like I’m the queen…let it go, let it go!” And what would a sing-along be without a little confusion about the lyrics: “…No right. No wrong. No rules for me. It’s spring!” It kills me.
And speaking of death, I was worried that Margaret might have some questions about what happens to Elsa and Anna’s parents. I don’t think I need to warn you about spoilers, but just in case you haven’t seen the movie and want to be completely surprised, you should probably stop reading right now. Choose another post to read, watch the movie, and come back. Anyway, back to death. We’ve talked about death before with Margaret. She knows that our cat Simon died this past summer and that Henning’s mom passed away (Margaret’s Farmor) 2 years ago. The conversations usually go something like this:
Margaret: I miss Simon.
Me: I miss Simon, too. It’s OK to miss him. He was our special kitty.
Margaret: Yeah, Simon was old. He died.
Me: Yes, it happens. Pets get old and they die.
I slip in this last bit because our two dogs are old, too, especially our Golden Retriever mix, Buddy. Better to plant the seed that Buddy and Harold (our Chihuahua) will cross the rainbow bridge, too. Although it does appear that they might live forever.
When it comes to Margaret’s Farmor, we have a different conversation.
Margaret: Farmor died.
Me: Yes, she did.
Margaret: Farmor smoked. (Margaret pronounces “smoked” like she’s been living in the deep south her whole short life and the word drips with distain, like she’s angry at smoking, which is a good thing.)
Me: Yep, smoking isn’t good for you. Farmor got lung cancer from smoking.
Margaret: Yeah, Farmor smoked and then she died.
These are the two times she’s been exposed to death, and we don’t sugarcoat things too much. Pets get old; they die. People can get really sick and die. She also knows that people can get sick and not get better. My dad had a stroke a year and a half ago and is just now learning to walk with a cane, and his speech will never be the same. We told Margaret that her Grandpa was “sick,” but we didn’t want her to think it was like when she gets sick. Now she knows Grandpa had a stroke. Grandpa had a stroke, and he won’t ever be the person he was before the stroke. All of this is heartbreaking, but true. So, when the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” scene came on, Henning and I watched Margaret to see if she realized that amid this catchy song, Disney slipped in A VERY SIGNIFICANT AND HEAVY PLOT POINT: Elsa and Anna’s parents left for a trip and died at sea during a terrible storm (OK, if you haven’t seen the movie AND didn’t stop reading when I warned you, I’m not the least bit sorry to drop that spoiler). Margaret didn’t realize that the parents met an unfortunate and tragic demise. Henning and I both looked at each other and said, “That was really sad.”
“What’s sad?” Margaret asked.
“Oh, there’s just a sad part in the song.” I said. (Stop looking at me like that! I didn’t want to ruin one of her favorite songs, OK?!)
No worries because Margaret barely looked away from the movie. There was no inquisition about the sadness.
After watching the movie about five times, though, Margaret did notice that Elsa and Anna’s parents never returned from their trip.
Margaret: Anna and Elsa’s mommy and daddy went away, and now Anna and Elsa are by themselves. [This is a really interesting concept for her. She’s now asking us when can she stay home by herself. Answer: NOT FOR A REALLY LONG TIME!]
Me: Yes, that’s true [as the butlers are dropping the black veil over the portrait of Anna and Elsa’s mom and dad], but they actually died, Sweetie. They got into an accident on a boat and died.
Margaret: [Thinking about what I just said, but still engrossed in the movie.] No, Mommy, they didn’t die. They just went on a trip.
Me: …Umm, OK.
Why argue about it? She’ll realize it eventually and then we can talk about it, but right now, the movie is basically about the songs, Olaf, hair flipping, and dress twirling.
And then the scene with the trolls, Kristoff, Sven, Olaf, and Anna comes on. “He’s a Bit of a Fixer-Upper” rings out [Side note: Why isn’t there snow where the trolls live?]. Margaret thinks this scene is really silly. When Anna and Kristoff are dressed up by the trolls, she says, “The trolls are soooo silly! They dress up Anna! She has grass on her head!” Fit of giggles. Anna then falls to the ground and there’s a discussion about how to cure her frozen heart: an act of true love.
Margaret: Mommy, what’s true love?
Crap. I wasn’t prepared for that question. THANKS A LOT, DISNEY!